Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Kansas City Kansas Community COllege Innovation Center launches “100 Local Garages”

KANSAS CITY, Kan. ---- The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well at Kansas City Kansas Community College as the college’s Innovation Center works to turn dreams into reality through the “100 local Garages” program.

Alicia Hooks, director of entrepreneurship at KCKCC, said the goal of the “100 local Garages” program is to “connect fabbers and makers with those having ideas and dreams in order to create realities.”

“Shifting the emphasis to local production, ‘100 local Garages’ is a way to support local makers who have skills and/or equipment that can be used to assist those with ideas and inventions and help the creation and small level manufacturing through their work areas which in many cases is their basement or garage,” Hooks said. “It assists makers in finding each other as well as students, retirees, etc., who can offer their skills and services utilizing the tools they already have.”

The “100 local Garages” program is the second initiative the KCKCC Innovation Center has announced in the last few weeks. KCKCC will also be participating in the InventYES program, which helps to get entrepreneurs excited about getting their ideas through the licensing and patent process. Students participate in the program by asking questions, completing short assignments and working their way through the 10-step InventYES system. The program was developed by Stephen Key who has been mentoring up and coming entrepreneurs and inventors for almost 15 years. The class began Oct. 29 with the course, “What is Licensing?” Subsequent courses will happen every two weeks focusing on subjects such as Inventing the Marketplace and prototyping ideas, among many others.

Hooks said this support of inventors, makers, business owner and innovators additionally supports the manufacturing arena and economic development as a whole.

“Entrepreneurialism is live and vibrant in Kansas,” she said. “This helps us to grow local and eventually expand to transition services into our local manufacturing firms.”

United States Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas also recognized KCKCC during a recent Congressional session for its efforts in supporting entrepreneurship and innovation through the launch of “100 local Garages.” Hooks, along with KCKCC President Dr. Doris Givens, Maris Gray, director of Workforce Development at KCKCC and Board of Trustee member Mary Ann Flunder also met with Gov. Sam Brownback Oct. 30 to discuss the initiative.

“The story of America is a story of entrepreneurs, individuals who took great risks to pursue their dreams. These entrepreneurs built the foundation of the American economy from its earliest days by pushing forward innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges,” he said. “I commend KCKCC for its efforts to promote innovation and the spirit of entrepreneurship in Kansas City, Wyandotte County, the State of Kansas and the region.”

Other supporters of the “100 local garages” program include Kansas City, Kansas Mayor Mark Holland; Senator David Haley; U.S. Representative Kevin Yoder; Shopbot Tools and MidAmerica Manufacturing and Technology Center.

For more information about the “100 local Garages” program or InventYES, visit the Innovation Center or send an email to Information is also available by calling 913-288-7572.